Local search engine optimization, or local SEO, is a set of processes designed to improve a site’s online presence in the Search Engines’ organic search results. Organic search traffic is the result of real users visiting a site and clicking on links within the text and on the site itself. This type of traffic represents the majority of the search results and offers the greatest potential for long term, high quality traffic. Organic search traffic is influenced by many factors including, but not limited to: the quality of the website, the number of incoming links, the quality of the pages themselves and the sites relationships with popular content providers and the overall quality of the overall internet marketing mix. Local SEO makes great sense for any business seeking to build their brand or increase awareness in their local community.
In order to optimize your website for Local SEO you will first need to understand the basic principles of how SEO works. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) determines how high a site will appear in the Natural or Paid Search results of popular search engines like Google and Yahoo! by analyzing the text in the Meta tags, title and images. These tags can be found within the html of any website and are responsible for keyword targeting.
There are a number of Local SEO strategies that should be explored if you are hoping to get started optimizing your site. The most effective local services include creating a site map and local address listings. This will ensure that your clients are able to find you and provide contact information. Local SEO strategies also include optimizing your website for the key phrases, keywords and areas of your business that relate to your location.
As part of local SEO strategies, submitting your website URL to major search directories is an excellent way to get your business noticed. Many of the top three search engines will send users to the local searches by showing them all the pages on your site that are ranked highly. Your URL should appear at the top of the results page and in the location area, ensuring your clients are aware of your presence online.
One of the top ranking factors used by search engines when determining where a page should appear is the placement of your keywords. Keywords are the key phrases and words people enter when conducting a search. They then make up a digital footprint that is left on the search engines such as Google and Yahoo! As well as these digital footprints being left behind, your website content needs to be relevant and informative, and this will help increase your search ranking.
Another great way of getting more local SEO results for your website is through the organic search results. Organic search results are those that show up organically in the results without paying for advertising. Organic results are determined by natural searches and are far more likely to be picked up by customers searching online for the products and services you offer. However, to benefit from the natural search results you need to have high traffic from visitors who are directed to your website, rather than just those who land on the first page of the SERPs.
Here’s a quick trick you can use to improve your chances of ranking highly in the organic search results. Take time to conduct an online research using the key phrase or words you intend to rank highly for. Then incorporate these into your web copy. Try to use the same tone and voice as you would in a SEO article. This will ensure your online marketing efforts are speaking to the same target audience, thus increasing your chances of making it to the top three rankings.
If you’re unable to get your website to the top three listing for a particular key phrase, then its worth creating a local SEO campaign using the location-specific keywords in your URL, link signals and sitemaps. Location-specific keywords are based on the location of your business, rather than domain or generic keywords. It is highly unlikely that a business in Vancouver would rank highly for ‘appliance repairs’ in Sydney, but it would be interesting to see if a search for ‘wet-wall paint’ in Brisbane would produce different results.